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 Henry Fielding

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Henry Fielding

  • Birth 22 Apr 1707 Sharpham, Mendip District, Somerset, England
  • Death 8 Oct 1754 Lisbon, Lisboa Municipality, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Burial Lisbon, Lisboa Municipality, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Memorial ID 1236

Novelist, satirist, playwright, magistrate. Born to an aristocratic family, Fielding was educated at Eton and studied law for a time at Leiden University in southern Holland before beginning his career in London writing for the theatre. His political satires were scathing, and are thought to be the reason behind the Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737, which made putting a political satire on the stage virtually impossible, and made those who wrote them suspect. Fielding then retired from the theatre and became a justice of the peace, though he never stopped writing. In 1749, he published his most famous novel, "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling". In the same year, with the help of his half-brother (also a magistrate) John, Fielding founded what many call London's first police force, the famous Bow Street Runners. He and John were known as two of the best magistrates of 18th century London, and they worked tirelessly toward judicial reforms and to improve prison conditions. But always a writer, Fielding once issued a warrant for the arrest of playwright Colley Cibber for "the murder of the English language". His commitment to justice and humanitarianism caused a deterioration in his health, and he moved to Lisbon in 1754 to seek a cure. He died two months later. In addition to Tom Jones, Fielding also authored the novels "Amelia", "Joseph Andrews", and "The Life and Death of Jonathan Wild, the Great", as well as nine plays. His work was a major departure from the fiction of the day, and he was the first major novelist to openly admit that his fiction was pure artefact.

Bio by: Kristen Conrad





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1236
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Fielding (22 Apr 1707–8 Oct 1754), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1236, citing British Cemetery, Lisbon, Lisboa Municipality, Lisboa, Portugal ; Maintained by Find A Grave .